Seen and Heard International reviews Leif Ove’s Vancouver recital

“The superb talents of Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes have long been hailed, and he is now one of the youngest soloists to be inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame (in 2013 at age 43). I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him on a number of occasions since his debut for the Vancouver Recital Society in 1993, and his gorgeous, full tone, crystal-clear articulation and discerning structural insight have resonated in my memory each time. With all the repertoire he has previously covered (including a memorable Winterreise with Ian Bostridge in 2005), one might wonder what he would bring to the table this time. Andsnes has turned to Beethoven in recent years and recorded the Beethoven concertos to substantial acclaim; so, yes, he brought a Beethoven sonata. Recalling his youthful love of Grieg and his interest in Carl Nielsen, he carried on his Scandinavian quest, this time settling in fairly obscure territory: the piano music of Jean Sibelius. I’m certain that much of the audience had no idea that Sibelius wrote for the piano. The second part of the programme moved to Debussy and Chopin, which might appear commonplace except that Andsnes has never recorded a full solo recital of the French repertoire, and his last recorded foray into Chopin took place in 1992. Clearly, there was a great deal to sink one’s teeth into here.

… It would be difficult to think of a more interesting mix of recital repertoire than Andsnes gave us here, and the feeling of fresh discovery in the Sibelius and Beethoven made it special.”



Source: Seen and Heard International